Whilst effective operational and project management will ensure the short term success of a business, the long term success, particularly for industries which are largely based on the application of science, technology and engineering depend on the development of new knowledge and techniques to maintain their leadership.
Although research is often connected with esoteric blue skies projects, much can be gained from well focused industry directed projects. These projects may not carry all of the kudos of the blue skies research but can deliver business benefits quickly with a high return on investment. Examples of such projects include industry wide reviews of current practice, regulatory impact assessments and development of best practice guides.
To ensure the successful delivery of a research project, the principals of project management need to be applied. It is particularly important to ensure that the outputs and success factors have been clearly defined. This is also essential for success in any funding bids.
Collaborative projects bring particular problems and defining the collaboration agreement, IPR ownership details and confidentiality requirements may need careful negotiation between the parties as well as careful definition of the inputs and outputs to be provided by each collaborator.